A mailman has been hailed a hero for saving a girl from sex trafficking.
Ivan Crisostomo, a postal worker, found 16-year-old Crystal Allen crying near bushes in a South Sacramento neighbourhood, in the US, while delivering mail on June 8, ABC 11 reports.
Crystal had just escaped her captors’ car. It’s not known who they are but the teen said she had been “kidnapped” and “abused”. She fled with one of their phones.
Mr Crisostomo said he heard crying from his car and found Crystal but she was too scared to talk.
He told Fox 40 she began pointing to her arm claiming “they were putting things in me”. She later claimed she was drugged, abused and tortured for three months and thought she’d never see her family again.
It’s at this point the father of four realised the 16-year-old had just escaped sex traffickers.
“Don’t worry,” he told her.
“Nobody’s going to take you.”
He helped her call home and waited with her until police arrived. Crystal’s parents thought she had run away.
Crystal’s mum, Stacy Ohman, told KCRA, she left with a person who took her to a pimp.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s deputy Latoya Buford told CBS San Francisco the area where Crystal was found, Oak Park, is a “notoriously high crime area”. Crystal is from Placerville, about 67km northeast.
“Lots of drugs, lots of prostitution, and gangs in that area,” Deputy Buford said.
“So, Ivan standing by with her really provided comfort, safety and security until officers arrived.”
On Thursday, the pair were reunited, and Crystal labelled Mr Crisostomo a “hero” “even though he doesn’t think it”.
“I’m super thankful and happy that he did that for me,” Crystal said.
Police are yet to make any arrests in relation to Crystal’s kidnapping.